Near as I can tell, a lot of us like to collect things. Lightsabers, Pins, Jerseys, Figurines, Model Kits, Guitars, Cameras, Snowboards, Make Up, Shoes, Bags, Jackets. Everybody, regardless of gender, likes some variety in their lives. Yet where do we draw the line? Where does variety become a justification for addictive behavior?
Personally, it has been a struggle. I’ve deleted promotional emails, unsubscribed to entire genre’s of shopping, brands, clubs, memberships. You name it, I’ve unsubscribed to it (mostly). Yet invariably, modern shopping, promo codes, holiday shopping, and anything else that requires giving a gift or needing something will pull you back into the shopping.
Of course, the rationale might be that you’re trying to save money, that this thing is on promo and it’s heavily discounted and you’ll regret not buying it right away. This is all good and true but we then ignore the part about where we’re spending, where we’re increasing debt and reducing savings. That part is sometimes ignored in favor of the rush when we receive a new shiny thing in the mail. Some of us see the mail guy more than we see our family and isn’t that a kick in the pants?
Here’s what I’ve tried.
Unsubscibing only works if it stays that way so if you must subscribe to get that promo code, do it, then unsubscribe if there isn’t a code sent or you’ve made your purchase. This will work only so long as you stop shopping at new places. It’s more cut throat but it’s either this or you get a new tempting email every week for something new to buy.
Which leads me to my next idea, avoid shopping at new places. Stick to what brands you know and trust. If you must go to the mall, or a department store, go with a Shopping List, just like you would at the grocery store. Get only what you need. Do not go into the store with the big red bullseye.
It’s easier to save money at the grocery store, mostly because you might realize that even if you buy all this food on discount, whose going to help you eat it all? Even with a family, over buying means food will expire and you’ll lose money. Not so with shopping, with things that don’t expire like Camera’s and Snowboards.
Get an app that watches your spending, if you want to trust a computer with your money-oh we do that already don’t we? We have online banking after all. There are entire industries built around saving the change from your shopping, or tabulating how much you’ve spent on Grubhub in a month.
I’ve found that Rereading Reviews of the items that I already own to be a semi-successful method. Here I am, on the hunt for that newest piece of gear so I can be even incrementally better than I was before but if I look back on what I already have, I succeed in NOT buying new gear and continue to grow my appreciation for my current gear.
Still, part of buying that new thing is that you can brag about having that new thing right? What about instead of just looking for the newest piece of gear to give you that edge, that you Focus on getting better with the gear you already possess? There are gains to be made from the stuff you already own, if only you would try hard enough to see it.
If the thought is that buying this new thing will make you incrementally better, scrap this idea. Just toss it out- get rid of it. The only thing that will make you better is you. The time spent researching new gear is better spent Practicing with your current gear.
Dovetailing into the fashion scene for a moment, which certainly has it own justifications for a slew of accessories in every shade of the rainbow, it still remains that knowing yourself is the best way to go about shopping as a whole. Know that you look terrible wearing certain colors? What about that Jacket that looks great but makes you itchy. Don’t buy into what the trends will tell you. Ignoring Trends is a way to save, as trends come and go but classics are forever.
In the end, having the fastest car, newest threads or the best camera won’t matter if you don’t have the skills and confidence to use them to their full potential. Only buy new gear when you’ve outgrown the current gear you have. I bet many of us will never get close to breaking through the potential of our gear and if we do, we’ll realize by then that we, ourselves, are the real deal to be had, not the gear we buy.